Meaningful use of health information is advanced healthcare that is most significant in today’s world that uses electronic health records (EHRs). This is a result of technology becoming an essential part of healthcare. Meaningful Use refers to the use of technology in electronic health records in a “meaningful” method that guarantees to share sharing of health information as well as exchanging in order to provide excellent healthcare to patients (Bui et al., 2018). It uses three stages to help it deliver its goals and objectives to the people.
The first stage brings about the issues of promotions of basic HER adoption and data gathering. In this case, eligible experts must select one of three public health objectives. They demonstrate that they are capable of submitting data in electronic format to vaccination information management or registries, and submitting data as required by their profession and local regulations. Alternately, professionals may compile information on test findings for public health authorities in line with local or state regulations.
Stage 2 emphasizes on care coordination and exchange of patient information alongside incorporating some main processes of stage 1. It deals with five public health objectives:
- Provide information to vaccination information systems and registries (as in stage 1).
- Apart from when prohibited, disclose lab findings to public entities (as in stage 1).
- Provide public authorities with data on disorder monitoring (as in stage 1).
- Illustrate your capacity to detect and notify cases of cancer to your state’s cancer registry.
- Prove your capacity to recognize and report specific incidents to a dedicated register.
Stage 3 describes the improvements in healthcare outcomes. Eight objectives for the meaningful use reporting are used in this stage:
- Protect patients’ health information by demonstrating that you have performed a security risk assessment of your EHR software.
- Demonstrate that you will be using computerized dosing (also known as eRx) for further above 80% of all permitted doses (electronically checking against the formulary and transmitting digital prescriptions to the pharmacy).
- Put in place five clinical decision-making treatments that are linked to at least 4 clinical quality metrics (CQMs). Allow drug-drug and interferences to be checked as well.
- Utilize Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) for requesting a minimum of 80% of drug prescriptions, 60% of lab supplies, and much more than 60% of diagnostic imaging requests (Bui et al., 2018).
- Allow individuals to view their electronic medical records by activating the virtual care function in your EHR program.
- Demonstrate your care coordination by increasing patient participation (for example: sending messages to patients over a secure portal).
- Develop a digital overview of patient records for health information exchange transferring data.
- Attest to meeting three of the five important public health record registry report criteria, which may include vaccination, symptoms, incidence documenting, health care registries, or clinical data directories.
This meaningful use mostly involves doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel in that field. They use the state-of-the-art EHR software to try and improve patient care coordination and also support work that is done by the population as well as the researchers in public health. This is seen as a crucial factor for engaging the patients.
Main Goals of the Implementation of Meaningful Use
The first main goal of the implementation of meaningful use is to improve quality, safety, and efficiency while it tries to reduce disparities. The use of patient health data helps the medical personnel to access the information whenever needed for clarity of a certain patient they are treating. In addition, since this data is stored online, it makes it safer since only those who have the access to the patient portal will read what is in it.
The second objective of meaningful use is engaging patients and families. Through the use of EHR, doctors, nurses, and medical professionals can connect to the patient. This helps them understand the patient better since all the health details are accessible and ease the process (Kleib et al., 2021). Since the patient’s details are recorded, the medical professional easily connects to the patient’s family and can be able to get the information they need for effective treatment of the patient.
The next goal is to improve care coordination. Here the professionals can connect their treatment to the patient by checking for their previous treatment history in the EHR. Through this, the efficiency of the treatment is observed immediately since a clear record from the patient portal directs the doctor on what to do, who to consult, and deep details of the patient. This improves the care coordination of the patient.
The other one is to improve public health. Since all the public health data is stored electronically, it helps medical professionals deal with each person easily. This is because whenever a person gets to the hospital or needs medical attention, the professional activates the patient portal and gets the rightful information before starting the treatment process. This greatly improves public health by reducing much interrogation of the patient’s health details. Lastly, it aims at ensuring that the privacy of personal health information is kept. Through the electronic technology of storing data where only the medical personnel can access the information by activating the patient portal, the health data is kept safe.
The Future of Nursing and Healthcare
Since these informatics and information technologies are digital ways of storing patient information, it is sure that the nurses’ future is at risk of getting outshined by it. Health records are evolving as a result of technological advancements. Modifications in care documentation have a substantial influence on nursing practice (Kleib et al., 2021). This same electronic health record (EHR) is a digitized computer record of a patient’s medical records that may include information from several locations and/or sources, such as health facilities, practitioners, hospitals, as well as health organizations (Huston, 2014).
The Leapfrog Collection, a consortium of non–health services Fortune global 500 corporate executives dedicated to upgrading the current healthcare practice, chose Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) as one of three important patient safety projects (Bui et al., 2018). Furthermore, the Medicine institute (IOM) research to error is human (1999) advocated for the introduction of CPOE to combat medical mistakes. This reduces the need for nurses in the health system.
Benefits of Smart Technology across Healthcare
The use of digital information technology in healthcare, often referred to as health information technology, has various advantages.
Firstly, information technology helps health providers to save and retrieve data from the patient’s history. It also enhances patient records interaction by making it available in a legible manner that anyone may use. As a consequence, the chance of medication errors is reduced. Moreover, it allows for the recovery of individual database objects without any need for new health testing. All of the innovations described above in health services have one commonality: they improve health and patient safety. The use of medical technology tools promotes patient safety. Firstly, there have been drug cautions, alerts, reminders, consultations, and clinical findings, as well as increased patient data availability.
A Case of Patient Information Being Prone to Insecurities
The risk of patient information getting accessed by unauthorized personnel is very high. Electronic health records (EHRs) can provide various gains to doctors, patients, and medical assistance if they are adopted by health systems. However, concerns about patient record confidentiality may cause many health institutions to use EHRs at a slow pace. One of the key difficulties with EHR is the protection of a significant volume of confidential health information in several locations and formats (Vaskinn et al., 2020). Many times, the records are prone to unauthorized people since anyone with e logins can access the portal. In addition, since the doctors and nurses involved are human beings, they may tend to give out the logins to any person they feel like.
In my experience, some medic personnel who are not supposed to access the patient’s medical data just log in to the system and try to find out the patient report. When such a thing happens, it means that the health data has no tight security that will only ensure that the only person accessing the information is the doctor attending to the patient. In most cases, you find other personnel working within the institution might be able to access the information especially if they are in the department of IT and data management sector (Vaskinn et al., 2020). This reduces the safety of the patient’s health data and makes it risky to be accessed by unauthorized people, which may embarrass the patient once they discover it.
Moreover, in my experience, I have seen much cybercrime happen to the EHR and this has kept the patient’s health records at risk. Since it is very expensive to maintain a high level of security in those systems of data storage, most health care has weak security systems. This makes them prone to hacking which through experience I have seen most of the patient’s health records get exposed due to this. This results in patients not trusting the program after this realization.
A Case where Patient Information Was Compromised
The major case where the health record of a patient is compromised is through a data breach. A data breach is defined as the unauthorized exposure or use of medical data. This disclosure compromises the privacy and security of the confidential healthcare information of a patient. When such occurs, it poses a risk to financial, reputation, and much more harm to the affected patient or person. This data leakage may have a wide range of effects on individuals and corporations. Information breaches are often categorized into two groups: internally and externally.
Internally information breaches are instances that happen with the help of internal personnel. Privilege used inappropriately, unlawful disclosure, unnecessary disposal of superfluous yet highly confidential information leakage or the unintended exchange of classified data with unauthorized people is examples. External data breaches are occurrences that occur as a result of any external organization or source. These include any type of hacking/IT issue, such as a malware attack, ransom-ware attack, phishing, spyware, or fraud in information technology like in the form of stolen cards.
In most cases, confidential data being compromised occurs through disclosure within the hospitals. As a result of this, most organizations have lost the trust of the people and this has demoralized them. It has also cost the organizations where the health data has been compromised a lot of cash trying to mend the whole loop where data has been compromised to try and reduce the risk of exposing more of the patient’s data to illegal persons. In most cases, this disclosure of the data has a severe risk to the patients whose data has been accessed since most fraudsters use this information to blackmail them. After this happened, solutions to prevent such happening were initiated. The organization started a security risk assessment. They hired security personnel to deal with the online risks and also fix the vulnerable loops which hackers used. In addition, they initiated secure remote access to the doctors, which needed the doctors to connect to the office network to be allowed access to the data.
Healthcare Data Security
Health data security is the most critical issue in electronic health records. This is so because storage of the data has been provided for by the internet but how to safeguard the data is what brings the issue. In most cases, threats of unauthorized individuals accessing the health records bring about the insecurity of the system (Khanra et al., 2020). Furthermore, this result in less trust from the involved patients and people to use the information since they feel exposed to their confidential health information.
What Nurses Should Do to Protect Patients’ Information
Since nurses deal much with these patients’ records, their actions determine whether the information is disclosed or not. One way that they should keep the patient information safe is by steering clear of earshot, by preventing people from listening to confidential conversations. Moreover, nurses should keep information out of sight, by being more cautious when handling documents both paper and electronic records (Khanra et al., 2020). More so, nurses are supposed to know what to gossip and this will prevent them from talking out confidential information with other staff that might not be authorized to hear, or maybe someone might overhear them. In addition, paying attention in training is the easiest way a nurse can ensure that they can keep privacy when they come to real handling of patient health records and information.
Importance of Policy Development and Implementation Regarding Data Security
Information security policies promote transparency and access controls. An efficient IT security policy framework guarantees that only personnel with necessary credentials have access to restricted software and databases that house sensitive consumer data. IT units deploying security management systems must guarantee that access to such systems is restricted at the institutional level, and that system actions are documented in a way that allows them to be traced back to their source.
Insights Supporting Organizational Benefits are provided by Information Security Policy. As IT organizations implement security mechanisms and procedures to fulfill their profession’s privacy needs, they typically reveal inadequately regulated people, technology, or even other assets that might be emplaced to improve operating efficiency. Information Security Policies Help You Improve the Data Protection Skills.
Security Policies to Protect Company’s Reputation for Doing Business
Data breaches will become much more widespread as it harms a company’s reputation, weakens trust between the organization and its consumers, and conveys the message that the company is unreliable. It sends a bad image to the public that the company does not take adequate efforts to safeguard its consumers’ privacy and security. Aside from the enormous expenses and sanctions involved with data breaches, firms can notify clients of the infringement and eventually repair the connection.
Bui, Q. N., Hansen, S., Liu, M., & Tu, Q. (2018). The productivity paradox in health information technology. Communications of the ACM, 61(10), 78-85.
Kleib, M., Chauvette, A., Furlong, K., Nagle, L., Slater, L., & McCloskey, R. (2021). Approaches for defining and assessing nursing informatics competencies: a scoping review. JBI Evidence Synthesis, 19(4), 794-841.
Khanra, S., Dhir, A., Islam, A. N., & Mäntymäki, M. (2020). Big data analytics in healthcare: a systematic literature review. Enterprise Information Systems, 14(7), 878-912.
Vaskinn, A., Haatveit, B., Melle, I., Andreassen, O. A., Ueland, T., & Sundet, K. (2020). Cognitive heterogeneity across schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: a cluster analysis of intellectual trajectories. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 26(9), 860-872.